Factors to Consider When Purchasing A Projector

Every projector has recommended intervals of performing maintenance, and it’s critical that these be closely adhered to. Ignoring them may lead to problems or even void a warranty.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing A Projector
It’s recommended to keep at least one spare lamp on-hand at all times, so if a lamp blows before an event or on a weekend, you can make a quick swap without having to try and figure out emergency purchase and shipping options.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing A Projector
It’s recommended to keep at least one spare lamp on-hand at all times, so if a lamp blows before an event or on a weekend, you can make a quick swap without having to try and figure out emergency purchase and shipping options.

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Justin was a speaker at WFX this year in Dallas. For 2018, the conference is slated for Orlando in November. We hope to see you there.

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In almost every modern church facility, there is a need to have some sort of video display surface from which parishioners can read scripture or see lyrics to worship songs. While large TVs and LED walls are two ways of accomplishing this, the most common form of visual display is with a projector and screen.

However, not all projectors and screens are created equal, and for anyone looking to make a purchase, there are several factors that must be taken into account. Failing to account for certain details on the front end can leave a buyer stuck with a less-than-ideal purchase or having made a costly mistake.

Of all of the things that need to be taken into account when dealing with projector purchases or maintenance, here are three key ones:

1. Research before you buy. There are dozens of varying specs for projectors on the market, and your needs will change based on the environment in which you want to use the projector. Classroom needs are different than live production needs. For instance, in a small classroom, the greatest concerns may just be to have an HDMI (or DVI/VGA) input for a computer source, plus perhaps a network interface so it can be controlled by an automated system like Crestron or AMX. In a production environment, you may need HD-SDI or HDBaseT inputs, plus more brightness or different lensing options.

Not all projectors are created equal.

When it comes to projector specs worth knowing, here are several things to consider when evaluating a potential purchase:
• Brightness (typically measured in lumens)
• Lens ratio (throw distance between the projector and screen)
• LCD vs. DLP chips
• Single-chip vs. 3-chip
• Lamp-based vs. laser
• Inputs
• Network access/control interfaces
• Native and scaled resolution options for outputs
• Gain (reflectivity) of the projector screen surface

Also, websites like ProjectorCentral and ColorLightOutput are great resources when it comes to researching various projectors and learning more about the importance of various specs.

It’s also important to understand the full cost of ownership of a product. For projectors, this not only includes the cost of replacing lamps, filters, or cooling fluid (or if there are other recommended maintenance items at certain hour-based intervals), but also factoring in the amount of time it takes to perform these items. This can get more complex, based on how difficult it may be to access a projector for maintenance, and helping account for cost of ownership and man hours may be enough justification to consider purchasing a different item that may be more economical long-term.

More About Justin Firesheets
Justin Firesheets has been the Production Manager at Church of the Highlands since February 2009 after having spent the previous six years working in the sports broadcasting industry. He is responsible for the management of the video systems, volunteer teams, and equipment at all 16 Highlands campuses, as well as serving as the project manager for all AVL areas on capital projects. He is passionate about teaching leadership development, systems management, and personal growth to those in the church technology world. Firesheets lives in Birmingham, Ala. with his wife and two children.
Get in Touch: firesheets@churchofthehighlands.com    More by Justin Firesheets

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

Article Topics

Technology · Video · Projection · Brightness · ColorLightOutput · DLP · LCD · Lens ratio · Maintenance · All Topics

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